The Best Cooking Oils
There is a lot of conflicting information out there about fats, especially which fats are best to cook with. Many say that fat is bad for you, that it can clog your arteries and lead to weight gain. This is true of unhealthy hydrogenated fats. However, healthy fats are essential to the human body, necessary in the replication of cells, brain health, eye/skin/nail/hair health, and cardiovascular health. Many people also think about WHAT they're eating, forgetting to think about HOW they prepare it. Cooking something in rancid, unhealthy oils can spoil your food and turn something you think is good for you into a toxic meal.
Here are the fats you SHOULD cook with:
- Coconut Oil: This is one of the healthiest fats for you to consume. This nutrient-dense superfood is the richest source of medium-chain fatty acids, which help with the digestion and assimilation of fats. Coconut Oil can also help boost energy, as it penetrates cells quickly, providing quick nourishment. It is especially good for supporting brain health, boosting immunity (it is antifungal, antibacterial, and antiviral), and strengthening thyroid function. It is a HIGH HEAT OIL, so it does not go rancid at high heats, like many other oils do.
- Avocado Oil: This oil fights harmful free-radicals and protects cellular mitochondria from destruction. It is rich in phytonutrients, so it does not oxidize easily, unlike many other oils. Oxidized oils are harmful to the body, so they should be avoided. It is said that avocado oil also fights against heart disease and aging!
- Macadamia Nut Oil: This oil is lower in Omega-6 fatty acids (which Americans typically consume too much of) and higher in Omega-3 fatty acids (which Americans typically do not get enough of) than any other nut oil. It also contains oleic acid, which is an Omega-9 fatty acid that has anti-cancer and heart-protecting qualities. Macadamia Nut Oil has a high smoke point, like coconut and avocado oils, so it is also ideal for high-temperature cooking!
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil: An extremely heart-healthy oil, Olive Oil contains many monounsaturated fats and high-density lipoproteins, which actually help to lower your cholesterol levels. Its vitamins, nutrients, and antioxidants fight against heart disease, promote healthy digestion, ease symptoms of ulcers and gastritis, and prevent gallstone formation.
- Sesame Oil: This oil is rich in iron, calcium, and magnesium, as well as polyunsaturated fats. This means that it contributes to proper fat absorption, lower blood pressure and heart disease, healthy skin, cognitive acuity, and strong teeth and bones. It also helps fight diabetes, prevent gingivitis and dental plaque, protect against kidney damage, and fight depression!
- Grass-fed Ghee: This nutrient-dense oil is full of fat-soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K, which are essential in many body functions, from brain health/elasticity to proper functioning of the immune system. It is also rich in antioxidants that protect the body from disease. Ghee contains high quantities of monounsaturated Omega-3s, which are good for the cardiovascular system and for fighting heart disease! Ghee has an extremely high smoke point, so it is safe to use when cooking at high temperatures.
The oils that SHOULD BE AVOIDED:
Margarine, corn, peanut, soy, cottonseed, canola, sunflower, and safflower oils.